Multiple sclerosis affects approximately 2.5 million people in the world. A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is scary for anyone who receives it- there’s a lot of mystery surrounding the condition. MS and peripheral neuropathy have a big commonality: they’re both neurological diseases that cause the discomfort you might be feeling- tingling, pain, and decreased sensation in hands, feet, arms and legs- and those sensations are tied with your nerves’ myelin sheath. Let’s discuss key differences and similarities in treatment!
It’s thought that multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, either genetic or environmental, where the body’s immune system is triggered to attack the central nervous system’s myelin sheaths. MS causes the demyelination of neurons in the brain, and forms lesions. If you recall from this article, when the material that surrounds the nerves is attacked, the nerves function much like an electric cord, allowing for misfires. Medications like statins can also affect the myelin sheath- statins lower cholesterol, and 27% of the myelin sheath IS cholesterol!
Related factors include:
- Age. MS can occur at any age, but onset usually occurs around 20 and 40 years of age. However, younger and older people can be affected.
- Sex. Women are more than two to three times as likely as men are to have relapsing-remitting MS.
- Family history. If one of your parents or siblings has had MS, you are at higher risk of developing the disease.
- Certain infections. A variety of viruses have been linked to MS, including Epstein-Barr, the virus that causes infectious mononucleosis.
- Race. White people, particularly those of Northern European descent, are at highest risk of developing MS. People of Asian, African or Native American descent have the lowest risk.
- Climate. MS is far more common in countries with temperate climates, including Canada, the northern United States, New Zealand, southeastern Australia and Europe.
- Vitamin D. Having low levels of vitamin D and low exposure to sunlight is associated with a greater risk of MS.
- Certain autoimmune diseases. You have a slightly higher risk of developing MS if you have other autoimmune disorders such as thyroid disease, pernicious anemia, psoriasis, type 1 diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Smoking. Smokers who experience an initial event of symptoms that may signal MS are more likely than nonsmokers to develop a second event that confirms relapsing-remitting MS.
People who suffer from MS tend to have episodes called flare-ups. Typically, symptoms develop over a few weeks, and with treatment, can improve. Symptoms affect one half of the body, and cause muscle weakness and cognitive problems. Doctors physically examine patients to look for muscle stiffness and weakness, along with reported bowel and bladder control issues, sexual difficulties, visual problems, slurred speech and trouble swallowing.
Peripheral neuropathy, on the other hand, is a chronic condition that worsens consistently over time as the nerves deteriorate. Inflammation, allergens, disease, injury, toxins, and genetics contribute to peripheral neuropathy, and sometimes there’s an unknown cause.
All of these are symptoms our customers deal with on a regular basis, and it’s regularly tied to demyelination. To diagnose, doctors look at history, genetics, physical examination, and then nerve conduction velocity and electromyography tests.
MS treatments include:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines
- Interferon beta injectable drugs
- Natalizumab antibody
- Gatiramer acetate
- Mitoxantrone hydrochloride
- IV steroids
Peripheral neuropathy treatments, on the other hand, make use of medications designed to mask the symptoms and do nothing to address the root cause of the demyelination.
Shared Treatment Methods
Sadly, there’s no guaranteed cure for MS or for peripheral neuropathy. Medication and treatments are to slow the progression of the disease and to manage symptoms. Symptomatic treatment is the same for both- NSAIDs, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, topical medications, acupuncture, massage and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS).
ReBuilder® TENS Setting- for Nerve Stimulation and Reconnection
Myelin CAN be regenerated! This study has the proof- "Cholesterol Made by Nerve Cells Repairs MS Myelin Damage in Mice" (multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com).
We know that if the nerve nucleus isn’t too damaged, nerve cells can regrow. While you’re treating your underlying conditions and supplying your body with the nutrients it needs to rebuild damaged myelin, you can also be managing your tingling, stabbing, numbness, zapping and pain caused by damage to your body’s myelin. Call us today and we can direct you to a provider with experience in peripheral neuropathy and multiple sclerosis treatment management, where you can try the ReBuilder®’s comforting TENS setting before you make the leap to purchase.